Shoulda, Coulda, Didnae—Why Don’t High-Potential Players Make it?

Taylor, J., and Collins, David John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7601-0454 (2019) Shoulda, Coulda, Didnae—Why Don’t High-Potential Players Make it? The Sport Psychologist, 33 (2). pp. 85-96. ISSN 0888-4781

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Given the non-linear nature of talent development, there is a lack of research investigating those who don’t make it. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to explore the reasons why performers of high potential didn’t meet their expected performance level. Participants, who were experienced talent developers in high level academies from football and rugby, identified five broad reasons for these failures: namely, lacking mental skills, serendipity, pathway based failures, maladaptive family input and lacking physical skills. Using a three-part focus derived from the data, we suggest ways in which talent pathways can optimize their output and prevent these failures.

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